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While Africa south of the Sahara has largely avoided severe health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (fewer than 5 percent of globally confirmed cases and approximately 89,000 COVID-related deaths), the region is experiencing economic fallout due to national and global pandemic policy responses. Economic growth, value chain functioning, incomes, trade, poverty, and consumption have all been negatively affected, according to IFPRI’s 2021 Global Food Policy Report.
At an online event on January 19, 2021, researchers from national research institutes and universities in the Sahel region and Germany, namely the Agrhymet Regional Centre of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) in Niger and the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn (ZEF) in Germany launched a series of national cases studies*) and a regional synthesis report on rural development, agricultural livelihoods and job creation in the Sahel region.
Africa South of the Sahara is currently experiencing several regional challenges to food security, according to FEWS Net. These include two of the most common drivers of increased food insecurity: conflict and weather-related shocks.
Food security has been a significant concern for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), even before the onslaught of challenges brought about by COVID-19. As the pandemic started spreading to the region, one concern has been that of its possible impacts on food security, as the crisis has the potential to exacerbate an already fragile food security environment.
This blog was originally posted on IFPRI.org. It was written by Swati Malhotra and Rob Vos from IFPRI’s Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division.